Thursday, November 17, 2016

My Final Post Here


It's time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I'd much rather say hello.
Hello to a new adventure.


After over 500 posts, 28,000 views from over 25 different countries within an 8 year- period, it's time to move on to bigger adventures. I am looking forward to new beginnings with all of the talents God has blessed me with.
 One of which will be my book When Christmas Comes to Town, a reflection of all the great Christmas movies that we've grown to love, coming Christmas 2017. I cannot say thank you enough for all those who have read my posts, especially my Christmas Movie reviews which has encouraged me to move forward with this project.
Also, as a nature photographer, I am looking forward to branching out more with my photography. You can checkout my photography at: www.pictalesblog.wordpress.com.
I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to share, encourage, and build up others throughout this journey. But, take heart, this is just the beginning!
I will keep this blog active so you may spread to others some of the great testimonies I've been able to share.
Until we meet again, stay strong, be encouraged, and never forget God loves you no matter what you think about yourself.



Thursday, November 10, 2016

So This Happened



"Peace begins with a smile."- Mother Teresa
 
This past week I spoke at a chapel service held at a posh retirement/rehab facility downtown in the city of Chicago. The chapel was a small room filled with stained glass windows, some were forms of art depicting the image of Jesus.
 
Along with my study on the subject of peace, I used some visual art of my own that resembled peace,
a couple of my nature photographs.
 

 
This stunning artwork, created by the One and Only...God, brought a smile upon the group's faces.
I preceded to challenge them with the proverbial line, "What do these pictures say to you?"
Their answer was exactly what I was searching for, peace.
 
Subsequently they began to ponder and explore their thoughts even more and then one elderly woman named Joan spoke up,
 
"Look at that picture of Jesus, there. (as she pointed to the stained glass art) That disturbs me because He isn't smiling. I don't know why that is. I don't see Jesus like that at all. I see Him as smiling."
 
Yep, Joan just opened up a whole new can of worms with that one! I explained to her that the stoic face of Jesus in that piece of art was probably how the artist envisioned Jesus.
 
There is a long-standing tale of how artist Leonardo Da Vinci had trouble putting the final touches onto his great masterpiece The Lord's Supper. While painting his most famous work, Da Vinci had a quarrel with a friend. This deeply disturbed him so much he used his foe's face as that of Judas
(you know, the guy who betrayed Jesus!) in his painting.
 
After three years of arguing with his friend and not able to complete his work to his satisfaction,
Da Vinci finally gave in and made peace with his enemy, changed the face of Judas on his painting, was happy with his finished work, and as they say, "The rest is history!"
 
As Henry David Thoreau once said, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
 
See Jesus for who He is not with your eyes, but with your heart.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, November 4, 2016

At Last!



Julie Andrews once said, "Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th."
For the Chicago Cubs however, the stats are much higher. For the Cubs it was failing 107 years and succeeding the 108th time, but's who's counting?!

When the Chicago Cubs finally delivered by winning the World Series and ending the longest drought in sports history, it reminded me of the 2004 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and what happened after they finally won.

The Boston Red Sox were wrapped up in a losing tradition that lasted 86 years, second only to the Cubs, and they carried with them a slew of Red Sox Nation (die-hard fans). If you are an avid baseball fan then you know all about the rich history of the Red Sox and Cubs and the so called curse they each carried.

The Red Sox curse was known as Curse of the Bambino stemming from the team trading away the great Babe Ruth and then proceeding to lose for the next 86 years.

The Chicago Cubs curse involved a billy goat. When Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis tried bringing a goat into the 1945 World Series at Wrigley Field and would eventually get kicked out of the stadium, he put a hex on the Cubs exclaiming, "The Cubs will never get back into the World Series. Ever."

I guess this would be a good place as any to add the disclaimer that I do not believe in curses.

As for those Red Sox, their fan base is just like the Cubs, it's a generational fan base handed down from generation to generation or simply put, you were born into a family that followed these two historic franchises.

 In 2004 when the Red Sox finally ended the Curse of the Bambino and won the World Series something very strange happened in the city of Boston the next few days. The most loyal elderly Red Sox fan base, the 97- 103 year-olds began to die of natural causes soon after the Red Sox victory. Medical staff and family members suggested that it was as if these folks had hung on just long enough to see their beloved Red Sox win it all and then could finally die in peace.

Today I carry with me that same kind of peace. Now, I am nowhere near that elderly stage, but after watching my beloved Cubs finally win it all after 108 years, I can relate to what those elderly Red Sox  fans may have felt. An overwhelming sense of peace. A certain peace that can only be described as a loyal die-hard fan peace.

Someone once said, "Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time", and oh what a journey us loyal Cubs fans have been on. Cannot wait for the next journey and where it may lead.


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